Neal Wanless, the serious South Dakota Christian cowboy with little who won $118 million in a lottery in 2009 when he was 23 living on the family ranch near Mission, is going to sell the giant ranch he bought with his winnings.
Adam York, spokesman for Hall and Hall’s Robb Nelson who is handling the sale, told the Capital Journal via email that the ranch, with 50,000 acres, four homes and many other features, is on the market for $41.15 million. If it fetches “anywhere close to that asking price, the property will be among the most expensive single ranches ever sold in South Dakota,” Nelson said, according to York.
It’s known as the Bismarck Ranch because it contains part of the trail by which people came from Bismarck to Deadwood during the gold rush days in the Black Hills.
The ranch includes about 42,000 deeded acres, about 4,000 acres leased for grazing from the federal Bureau of Land Management and about 1,600 acres leased from the state.
“It is home to 3,000 yearlings, 1,600 cow/calf pairs and about 1,000 wild horses,” according to York.
The wild horses came from the former Triple U ranch, now called the Standing Butte Ranch since Ted Turner bought it several years ago, northwest of Fort Pierre.
The BLM manages such wild horses, farming them out to large ranches and paying lease money to the landowners. When Turner bought the Triple U Ranch, his managers were not interested in taking care of the BLM wild or feral horses.
The main ranch house has about 6,500 square feet and five bedrooms.
When Wanless won the lottery, he and his father were living in a camper and things were tight, it was reported at the time.
He’s stayed away from news reporters for the most part, but has been active in participating in and supporting local rodeos and other community events, people have said to news reporters through the years.
When he accepted the big check in the ceremony in 2009, Wanless said: “I want to thank the Lord for this opportunity and blessing me with this fortune.” He promised to share the fortune with his family and his home community.
More on the ranch and what it includes can be seen at https://halhal.com/property-for-sale/south-dakota/bismarck-trail-ranch.
Wanless told The Wall Street Journal this week he leases most of his ranch out to neighboring ranchers and to the BLM for the horses, and has only a small number of livestock himself.
Wanless told the Journal he and his wife — they got married last summer — want to spend more time on her family’s cattle ranch in British Columbia and in Arizona in the winters.